Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Tonight my friend Jonathan ran the finale game for Man of War III, a Napoleonic-era British Navy role-playing game. It was the culmination of a ten-year arc of three campaigns (Man of War I, II and III), tying up loose story ends and officially retiring the game. It was a very enjoyable game, especially because Jonathan always did a lot of research into historical events, ships, military, etc., to set the tone for the game (truth be told most of the players are history buffs anyhow).
There were ship battles, espionage, trading, diplomacy, blowing up those darn Frenchies and more…
Friday, January 14, 2011
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Well, its been a few months of thinking and pondering, but I’ve finally made up my mind about what kind of phone to get next. I have to admit, the market is full of options that would be great upgrades from my Palm Centro; the iPhone, Android, the Palm Pre, etc. So, come March, I’ll be getting a Windows Phone 7… er… phone.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
At work we’ll sometimes go out to eat for birthdays, splitting the check at the end. At the end of the meal we have to go through two steps; figuring out the tip, then everyone’s share (joys of going dutch). Sometimes everyone fends for themselves, but the birthday boy/girl gets their meal for free, with the rest of us splitting the bill.
|2||format as $||format as %||=a2*b2||=a2+c2|
|4||# of people||$ per|
Its easy enough. Things are laid out the way they are so its easy enough to adjust. You put in your bill into a2, the percentage you want to tip into b2, and the rest gets figured out for you. If you’re splitting something, change the 1 in a5 to however many people you’re splitting by.
For instance, if me and two friends of mine went to eat, with the meal costing $24 and is wanting to tip 30%?
|4||# of people||$ per|
Easy enough! Again, its one of those things I’ve seen apps for but if you’ve got a spreadsheet on your smartphone? No need to buy or download one (important if you don’t have a data plan currently!). And, before you say that nobody has a smartphone without a data plan, keep in mind I was without one for almost two years, plus there are people who have had to turn off the data service to save money! A smart phone can be very useful, even without the data plan!
Plus, there is the iPod Touch to consider, too! There are a few spreadsheet apps available in the app store, after all :)
The more I mess with spreadsheets, the more I find how useful they are. The fact you can carry one around with you in your pocket, as opposed to needing a laptop or desktop, means you’re not chained to your desk. And, ultimately, that is what a smartphone is all about.
Monday, January 10, 2011
I had started looking for a checkbook program (not seriously) for my phone to use for my debit card. My Palm Centro is an older, now discontinued, entry-level smart phone, so a lot of folks have moved on, developer-wise.
In a "why didn't I think of this before?" moment, I fired up my Centro's spreadsheet (provided by DataViz’s Docs to Go) and whipped up a quick and dirty way to keep track of my expenditures!
Its basically a one-cell formula, usable for any spreadsheet. Cell a1 gets the equation to show the current balance, with columns b, c and d getting the number entries (deposits are positive, purchases are negatives). A1’s result is bolded to help it stand apart from everything else.
So, while there is room to improve it? My current balance is there, all quick and convenient like! Its no substitute for good tracking of your money, but for me its better than trying to keep a checkbook registrar with me.
Also, when I was thinking about it, it’s a good example of something that’s useful in a real-life way so I won’t have to buy an app for it. While you can say they’re cheap, I won’t have to try a bunch, deal with poor ones, etc. What’s also nice is this one little formula is portable, so it’ll make the jump when I upgrade from my Centro to a Windows Phone 7 smartphone in March. Something that an app can’t do.
Next lunch-break project? And spreadsheet that calculates tip at a restaurant, plus figuring out shares for splitting a check.